Based in London, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ …


Students studying for AKU-ISMC's MA in Muslim Cultures relax in the Garden of Light on the 9th floor of the …

AKU-ISMC / Jonathan Goldberg

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United Kingdom | Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (ISMC)


AKU-ISMC’s students come from over 20 countries

The ISMC seeks to provide a multifaceted approach to the study of Muslim peoples through a framework of world cultures, the humanities and social sciences. This approach is reflected in a master’s programme, events ​and short courses​ and through research and publications.


AKU-ISMC offers a master’s programme, which can also be taken as part of a dual degree with Columbia University, as well as a wide range of short courses which are open to the public. We also offer a varied programme of public lectures, seminars and workshops, both online and restrictions permitting, in the Aga Khan Centre.

The master’s degree programme provides a transformative intellectual experience for students. They come from an array of countries, including Armenia, Austria, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, the UK and the USA.

The Institute’s goal is to graduate students who are confident critical thinkers and skilled communicators, able to ask tough questions, challenge norms and seek solutions; who can work across boundaries in a diverse world; and who are prepared to chart their own course, whether as academics, professionals or civil society leaders, in either the developing or the developed world.

Today, AKU-ISMC graduates are thriving in their countries of origin and abroad. While some are undertaking or have completed doctoral studies at institutions such as Harvard University, Princeton University and the University of Oxford, others have returned home to work in their communities, bringing new insights to bear on contemporary challenges.

AKU-ISMC aims to provide world-class academic research, guided by bravery and rigour, that impacts on future research and knowledge formation. AKU-ISMC research often endeavours to impact good governance and work against stereotyping, racism, and social and gender inequality, and instead promote diversity and plurality.

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